Rune has been proclaimed to be some sort of “thinking man” game.
I wonder what’s there to think about… You run around in caves, sewers, caves and… sewers, killing lobsters (in the beginning) and some other foes while you eat chameleons and lizards.
That’s not a really positive introduction, so let’s start with the good stuff here.
Rune is technically a very good game. Graphics are really kewl (Unreal engine at its best again) with great level design, and the sound is nice aswell although I might add that background music for some running around in caves isn’t really hard to make in my opinion.
The 3rd person view isn’t bad either. The camera follows your character very good, and even combat is very easy to do. I guess the Human Head people took a lesson from Vampire : The Masquerade.
The story of Rune puts you in the skin of a Viking warrior who has to defend his town and its Runes, but since there wouldn’t be any story to it if there wouldn’t be a villain, your co-warriors die in the beginning of the game while trying to help another village defend their runestones.
You die aswell, but the Almighty Odin decides to give you your life back (probably because your such a great warrior) so that you can revenge your soulmates.
You have to find your through several … caves and sewers… to finally end up at the villain’s castle and defeat him and stop Loki (the bad god) with his evil plans.
To help you ending the game, you have ALOT of weapons, each with it’s own specific pro’s and con’s, but generally they are fun to bash off an opponent’s head.
About bashing stuff btw, you can trash about anything that’s in the game, and even take a killed opponent’s head and use that as a weapon 🙂
So far for the good things, now onto the bad things.
The AI of the bad guys isn’t always so good, and having to jump around on platforms isn’t a cool way of having to terminate a game.
While there has been alot going on about games like shooters having idiotic crate-puzzles which hold up the gameplay, the guys of Human Head had the incredible idea of replacing the crates by platforms… anyone have a better idea of killing a possibly great game ?
During the game, Odin will appear from time to time to help you on your way and give you some explanations, but the cut-scenes also cut the speed of the game (which isn’t too good already).
Vikings have a great deal of potential for game creators, but although Human Head did succeed to put in alot of Viking mythology into the game, they actually succeeded aswell in making Rune extremely boring.
The intro sequence makes almost fall asleep, and the cut-scenes don’t help either. The atmosphere is Rune is nowhere to be found.
All in all, Rune has the same problem that games are having the last decade : Technically very good (not to say outstanding) but qua gameplay everything but original and just plain boring.